Being a writer requires a whole slew of different skills, but communicating directly with the reader is one of the most important. And considering that women make up roughly half the population means that there should be a high demand for female writers in practically any niche. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Women are poorly represented in various writing fields, but smart and industrious women have made these niches their own.
But First… Online Writing Groups
Women may have more difficulty getting writing jobs than men, but that’s helped create a thriving sisterhood of female writers willing to lift each other up. Social media platforms are rife with writing groups focused exclusively or primarily on women, and they can serve a critical role in both professional networking and discovering new work. Often, these social networks can fill similar roles to traditional in-person writing groups. Many groups have self-published materials from their members. Just like with any career, fostering those relationships early and taking the time to maintain them will be essential to build success over the months and years.
There’s always been an element of chauvinism in the publishing world, but that’s only forced women to take more creative approaches to find their audience. Pseudonyms have long been an effective tactic for raising the cache of a female writer. There’s continuously a market for female-written romance. Still, women have long spread the written word through more grassroots channels. Through church bulletins, women have the opportunity to influence their local communities’ opinions, and women’s clubs have long passed down recipes through a legacy of cookbooks.
And these grassroots networks of domestic writing have a descendant in the form of online blogs. Cooking bloggers like the Pioneer Woman – Ree Drummond – practice a style of writing that’s as much autobiographical as it is instructional. Women covering traditionally “feminine” subjects like makeup, clothing, and cooking use the platform to tell their personal stories and share their experiences.
And while a lot of women are taking traditionally underloved subjects and using them as an engine to tell their own stories, sometimes a job’s just a job. And plenty of women are making a name for themselves in more technical tasks. Writing for auction catalogs can be a surprisingly effective way to keep your skills sharp. The need for punchy and eye-drawing copy makes it good training for a job in writing ad copy or marketing materials. Writing copy for items like estate jewelry teaches the importance of brevity that many writers don’t have early on.
Another niche of writing that’s long been considered the domain of women is children’s literature. It’s a field that transformed J.K. Rowling into one of the world’s most prominent authors, and you should never discount children’s fiction as a childish field. And the options here are wide open. Young adult novels tend to require either good luck or a lot of research. You can either chase what the hottest trend is right now or hope to tap into the zeitgeist.
Illustrated books can provide something more evocative, but they come with their own challenges. Either get ready to sharpen your skills with a drawing pen, or do your best to track down an illustrator. Success as a writer of illustrated children’s books requires both a writer and an illustrator with complementary styles. But as we’ve already mentioned, there are tons of virtual communities helping connect female creatives with one another.
Real estate is an industry with a relative amount of accessibility for women. And shows like House Hunters and Extreme Home Makeover prove that interest in real estate crosses gender boundaries. Interior and garden design is one way that female writers can make headway in the industry – but there’s another you might not have considered. If you’re passionate about real estate, you could cut your teeth on real estate property descriptions. Both major websites and local real estate agencies need punchy materials to promote their properties. Those are skill sets that can hone a writer’s expertise.
And then there’s poetry. Unfortunately, making a career out of poetry can be difficult for anyone, but discovering a tiny niche within poetry can increase your odds. The digital revolution hasn’t killed the greeting card industry yet, and children’s kids’ books continue to sell. That doesn’t mean you need to forego your passions. A day job writing to pay the bills can sharpen your skills and provide you with the leverage to work on your passion project in the downtime.
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